Showing posts with label animation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label animation. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Nishith "Nish" Pandya - An Artomatic Interview

by Mike Rhode

Nishith "Nish" Pandya's illustration style, as on display at Artomatic, is somewhat cartoony, but his use of the web-handle "cartoonish" led us to decide to reach out to him. (all images from his websites, as my photos from Artomatic did not come out well).

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

Lately, my drawing style has been combining my characters and my love for nature and hiking.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

I mainly work in pencil, charcoal, or pen-n-ink. I think these mediums tend to enhance the mood I try to create in the drawings.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I was born in 1970 in Baroda, India.

Why are you in Washington now? What neighborhood or area do you live in?

I moved up to DC for a software job and I have been living in Capitol Hill.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

Aside from watching cartoons on tv...none.

Who are your influences?

I think Bugs Bunny did this to me! I would religiously watch Loony Toons on Saturday mornings.

But somewhat-recent animation programs that I love include Invader Zim and Ed, Edd, and Eddy.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

My day job is software and sometimes I wish I had focused more on my art.

What work are you best-known for?

Lately, I think I am known for my nature-inspired drawings.

What work are you most proud of?

I have few personal favorites. One of them is on display at Artomatic. It's an illustration of a girl reading a book by a tree.


What would you like to do or work on in the future?

I am currently learning oil painting. I have tons of sketches that I would like paint...and finally work with color.

In addition, I keep saying I would like to write and illustrate a children's book.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

I get drawing blocks and many times I'll go on nature walks to get ideas and inspiration.

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Awesome Con, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

I have not attended any cons. I think I need to attend some!

What's your favorite thing about DC?

I think DC is a great walkable city and I definitely do a lot of walking.

What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to? 

Neither a monument nor a museum, but I like to take visitors to Great Falls if they have never seen it before.

Which side?

I like both sides.

I prefer the hiking on the MD side for myself.

But if my parents come visit me, I ll take them to the VA side since its easier for them to walk around.

Least favorite?

Easy answer...the summers. it gets too hot here.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

It's a chain but I like Matchbox.

Do you have a website or blog?

I am on Instagram. My username is cartoonish2.

I also have a few drawings on

Monday, April 10, 2017

Rockeats Alcoreza - An Artomatic Interview

20170331_210813by Mike Rhode

Rockeats Alcoreza's exhibit at Artomatic is heavily-influenced by graffiti and popular culture, especially animation. We reached out to him to ask our usual questions, some of which are less relevant to a painter than a cartoonist.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I do a mixture of urban street art and realism.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

Acrylic paint, sometimes oil.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I'm from DC.

Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in? 

I live in Arlington, VA's Green Valley.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

No training or education, but I feel if I take classes my talent will develop greatly.

Who are your influences?

Hip hop, anime, people

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

I would've took art more serious back in middle school. I had a conflict with my art teacher at the time. I didn't continue with art. I completely dropped it. I recently picked it up again.  I know for a fact if I continued doing since middle school to high school, my art would be amazing beyond amazing because I would've learned so many techniques and been guided to produce better art.

What work are you best-known for?

My backgrounds (the patterns you see in majority of my art is called THE 88's).


What work are you most proud of?

Nothing really I feel like I could do a lot better when I look back at my work.

What would you like to do or work on in the future? 

Make comic strips, funny crude humor or create a book for kids. That would be the dream.


What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

I hate when that happens; listening to music sometimes helps.


What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Awesome Con, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

Awesome con, but I would like to attend more. I'm not that informed about when these events happen.

What's your favorite thing about DC?

Our go-go music. Our sense of style, the way we talk, and also the fact we are at the nation's capitol.

Least favorite?


What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?

Corinto gallery

How about a favorite local restaurant?

El Pollo Rico -  it's in Arlington - it's crack.


Do you have a website or blog?

Websites would be
Later I will create my own website.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Gordon Thomas Frank - An Artomatic Interview

by Mike Rhode

Gordon Thomas Frank's art is influenced by cartoons including DC and Disney. A selection is on display at Artomatic 2017 in Arlington, VA. He's answered our usual questions.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do? 

My work has been described as digital pop art.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

Scanned images manipulated through Photoshop.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I'm a child of the 70's.

Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?

I grew up on the D.C. border in P.G. County. I've lived in Alexandria since 2001.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

Self-taught. I never finished school.

Who are your influences?

Tumblr is a great source for inspiration. I have spent hours cataloging old comic book panels for future reference for my artwork.


What work are you most proud of?

It's hanging in Artomatic right's called 'Once You Go Black' and it depicts Sleeping Beauty holding a dildo. The show hadn't even opened, and it caused a few complaints.  The woman using the wall space next to me to said it was borderline child pornography. (She went ballistic and moved to the 3rd floor after someone else hung a floor-to-ceiling-sized painting with a penis on it). Another artist told me the Sleeping Beauty piece was 'kinda sorta' pornography, but was more upset with it because, 'as a Black woman', she felt it was racist.


Do you have a website or blog?

I am the creator of the tumblr blog Love Boat Insanity ( It's a collection of Love Boat  celebrities (and even fictional characters) that might've been...such as John Waters, Divine, Pam Grier, Ultraman, Jeffrey Dahmer and Tommy Wiseau, etc.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Catholid Herald article on animator De Angel

Youth minister uses his talents in animation to illustrate God's love
Arlington Catholic Herald

After years as a professional artist Miguel De Angel felt called to use art more directly in ministry.

De Angel's video on YouTube

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Post on Moana

Despite familiar formula, Disney's 'Moana' is a breath of fresh island air

Washington Post November 23 2016, p. C3

'Moana' isn't your typical Disney princess. She's an action hero.

and the Times for luck.

'Moana,' Brave Princess on a Voyage With a Chicken

A version of this review appears in print on November 23, 2016, on page C1 of the New York edition with the headline: Did You Just Call Me a Princess?

An image from Disney's "Moana." (courtesy of Disney Animation 2016)

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

A quick chat with Gary Lucas on reviving the Fleischer Brothers cartoon music

by Mike Rhode

Gary Lucas, a New York musician, will be in town this weekend with his tribute to the Fleischer animation studio music heard in Popeye and Betty Boop shorts. His band Gary Lucas Fleischerei has just released a new album Music from Max Fleischer Cartoons from Silver Spring's Cuneiform Records. I've been given a copy of the album and it's a lively, fun interpretation of cartoon music that's not been revived nearly as often as either Disney's or Warner Brothers'.

I'm on jury duty this week, so I'm going to lift a couple of paragraphs from Cuneiform's press release. Original ComicsDC material resumes with a short interview after the italicized text. 

Gary Lucas is one of the great spelunkers of contemporary culture, a fearless explorer who delves into forgotten and overlooked crevices and returns bearing exquisite treasures. His latest project Music from Max Fleischer Cartoons is a particularly spectacular find, a gleaming confection from a hurly-burly era when the Jazz Age crashed into the Great Depression and Tin Pan Alley borrowed shamelessly from Harlem. A 2016 Cuneiform release, the album features songs from Fleischer Studios cartoons originally delivered by actress Mae Questel, who provided the voice and vocals for two beloved but very different characters: the eternally sexy Betty Boop and Popeye’s sometime ‘goilfriend’ Olive Oyl. Finding a singer who could capture the insouciant spirit of Mae Questel while comfortably inhabiting the material proved far more difficult. Lucas turned to his wife Caroline Sinclair, a New York City casting director, who said, “why don’t you let me cast this one?” “That was a good idea,” Lucas says. “Sarah Stiles is really a bundle of fire who can do it all. It was crucial to find a singer who wouldn’t try to hijack the idea and make it about her. We conceived this as a tribute to Mae Questel and the Fleischers. This is about trying to spread Fleischermania.” Part of what makes Stiles such a perfect fit for the material is the way she captures the spirit of the characters. It’s immediately obvious when she’s singing a song associated with the effervescent Ms. Boop and when she’s donning the slippery guise of Ms. Oyl. The album opens and closes with bits lifted from Fleischer productions.

“Fleischer’s animation has a gritty, funky urban sensibility that feeds right into R. Crumb,” Lucas says. “His cartoons had that Jewish and urban wiseguy sensibility. There’s a dark, black humor associated with Eastern European immigrants, and even though I’m from upstate, those are my roots. Betty Boop in particular embodies a knowing sophistication emanating out of Times Square, which was a node of melting pot culture where Broadway, Yiddish theater, and jazz all converged.”

Did you have to have the music transcribed from cartoons, or does written music for the cartoons still exist?

I transcribed and arranged the guitar parts by ear off the soundtracks; I'm not sure how Joe Fiedler who arranged the group parts did it that way, but he could have-- we both have very good ears. I really don't know if any of the cartoon music exists in their original arrangements as written music. It is possible it's filed somewhere, at for the stuff that the assembled studio bands cut in front of the cartoons being projected, photos exist of one of the main composers Sammy Timberg conducting one of these ensembles in a Fleischer cartoons recording session. Some of the music came from actual records of the day that the Fleischer's edited right onto their cartoon soundtracks--such as the "jungle jazz" instrumental tag on "Betty Boop's Penthouse" which FLEISCHEREI perform, which I recently learned comes off a 78 recording of the Mills Blue Rhythm Band entitled "Heat Waves." Perhaps the group re-cut it for the cartoon because it sounds slightly faster on the soundtrack, but, if so, they stuck to the identical arrangement. The connection with current Harlem recording acts is a natural as Mills Blue Rhythm Band were one of the regular ensembles at the Cotton Club uptown.  Paramount was the distributor of the cartoons - and as part of its arrangements with Fleischer Studios, the studio lent some of the artists in their catalog such as Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong to make cameo appearances in the Fleischer cartoons, which were filmed at Paramount Studios in Astoria, Queens. Sometimes these artists toured nationally in the same Paramount theaters that the Fleischer cartoons were screened in, with the cartoons themselves serving as advance publicity for the artist's live appearances.

Did you consider showing the cartoons behind you while you play, as is so popular with symphony orchestras?

Yes we do this, in a roughly synchronized way. As we improvise a lot unlike symphony orchestras it's not easy to always have the right clip on the screen behind us, but I don't think it matters much. It's more about capturing a flavor. We show the intact cartoons also as part of our show.

What did singer Sara Stiles really think when someone asked her to channel Betty Boop's voice?

That someone was I, and Sarah loves Betty Boop's voice. She has no problem channeling it. That is one reason I selected her as the singer.

How has the reception been so far for the tour/album?

We haven't really begun touring this yet. Reaction to the album has been extremely positive.
Do you know who the original composers are?

Yes, and they are duly noted in the booklet credits.

(And so they are. There's a variety of names with Sammy Timberg being credited the most with five songs)

Did you have a hard time convincing the other musicians to join you in this project, or is everyone just seeing it as a fun way to spend a few months?

Everyone in the group loves playing this music. They wouldn't be part of this otherwise.

How does the live audience react?

The reaction has been phenomenal - people love this project, they get off on hearing the music and they adore the cartoons.

Why do you think that Disney and Warner Bros. cartoon music has survived, and relatively prospered, while the Fleischers' was forgotten?

I don't think it was forgotten, I mean, come on - people all over the world know Sammy Lerner's "Popeye the Sailor Man" theme for instance. I just don't' think the music has been effectively  curated (until now!). 

What's your favorite Fleischer cartoon?

1930's "Swing You Singers"  - a surrealist classic.

Favorite animation overall?


I note Robert Crumb is mentioned in your press release; are you a Crumb fan? Have you seen him and his Cheap Suit Serenaders? Have you ever met him and talked music or cartoons?

Yes I love Crumb's work. I never did see his ensemble, although I did see his guitarist, the late Bob Brozman in action, I have never met Crumb alas - but I feel a kindred spirit there. I know he was a HUGE  fan of Max Fleischer!

We now go back to Mr. Lucas' website to round out this post.

Next up, the full swinging FLEISCHEREI 6-piece band will appear along with many classic Max Fleischer cartoons as a special event night at the Washington Jewish Film Festival on Sat. March 5th 8pm at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring Maryland.

Preview the tracks "The Broken Record" and "Ain'tcha" from the new FLEISCHEREI album—
and order the album now!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Post on The Good (not Great) Dinosaur

Is 'The Good Dinosaur' the least imaginative Pixar movie? [in print as PIxar falls into the tar pits of dino story cliches].

Arlo and Forrest Woodbush (aka: The Pet Collector) in "The Good Dinosaur." (Disney/Pixar)

Scientific accuracy is overrated: A paleontologist reviews Pixar's 'The Good Dinosaur'

Monday, November 02, 2015

DC-area band Exit Vehicles has just released an animated video

They tell ComicsDC:

We released our debut album STAGES in July 2015, and the first of a few music videos was released November 1st, this one for our song Module.

We felt the story for this could only really come across well if a cartoon was made from it, so we contacted a mutual acquaintance whose stuff we liked, Michigan-based artist Matt Rasch. Matt agreed to animate and direct for us in his unique style ( It's just a whimsical cartoon about a monkey rocketing across space and back, and we think it's plenty of fun.

Exit Vehicles - Bandcamp website:


Exit Vehicles are a DC indie rock four piece who formed in mid-2013 as a project between twin brothers Brian and Adam Polon. After being in several bands and releasing several albums apart, the brothers felt it was finally time to try something together, and quickly sketched out 50 original songs on bass and guitar. The twins met drummer Jacob McLocklin (also in DC's indie/pop/rock outfit Cake and Calculus), and recorded 30 tracks with variations on Soundcloud under the project name The Debuggers (the three bandmembers all work in the DC computer/tech sector). The brothers found singer Brian Easley (a recent DC transplant via Austin and Chicago) through the Internet and began playing a show every month across DC for the next year under the name Exit Vehicles, their homage to science, space, technology, and NASA. Easley is a combat-disabled veteran.

Exit Vehicles recorded STAGES, their first LP, at the Lighthouse Recording Studio in Del Ray, Virginia with Peter Larkin early in 2015. The ten track album is a tribute to the Polon brothers' intricate and complex songwriting, McLocklin's dazzling drumwork, and Easley's visceral lyrics and wiry vocals. The album was also produced by Peter Larkin at The Lighthouse in Del Ray, and mastered by Dave Harris at Studio B in Charlotte, NC. The band's earlier 2014 EP offering – which Natan Press of The Deli Magazine described as "Aggressive yet melodic, progressive yet tight, a solid post-punk rhythm section drives a clean alt/indie sound reminiscent of the best in the city's history" – was recorded at Inner Ear Studio in Arlington, Virginia by Don Zientara. Exit Vehicles only play every month or two around DC, so be on the lookout for the next show! They play next on Saturday, December 12th, 2015 at Iota Club and Cafe in Arlington, VA.



Saturday, January 24, 2015

Obituary for anti-Saturday morning cartoon crusader in the Post

Peggy Charren, 86: Longtime advocate for better children's TV [online as Peggy Charren, advocate for improving children's TV programming, dies at 86]

By Matt Schudel
Washington Post January 24 2015

"Why can't children's television be more like a good children's library, with lots of diversity," she said in 1983, "and less like the comic-book rack in the local drugstore?"

Friday, February 07, 2014

Express on The Lego Movie

‘The Lego Movie’ Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks
[Washington Post] Express February 7 2014 p. 15

The Post reviews The Lego Movie

‘The Lego Movie’ review: Toy-themed ad­ven­ture celebrates creativity

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture - The plastic gang’s all here to save the day: from left, Unikitty (voiced by Alison Brie), Benny (Charlie Day), Emmet (Chris Pratt), Batman (Will Arnett), Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) and Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks).

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Jan 18-19: Little Mermaid Jr. on stage in Arlington

The Little Mermaid Jr.

Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater
Book by Doug Wright
Based on the Hans Christian Andersen Story and the Disney Film produced by Howard Ashman & John Musker and written & directed by John Musker and Ron Clements
January 10-19, 2014
Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
125 S. Old Glebe Road Arlington, VA 22204
Encore Season 2013 BannerSplash into this classic story of Ariel, the mermaid princess, who wishes to live in the world above rather than the ocean floor. To explore life on land, Ariel disobeys her father, King Triton, and makes a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula. Ransoming her singing voice, she must convince Prince Eric that she is indeed the girl who rescued him or risk losing her voice forever. Sing along to your favorite songs and watch as Ariel, with the help of her friends, tries to break Ursula's curse and win the heart of the Prince. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Warner Bros.' Sylvester in the Naval History and Heritage Command

This is probably in storage down in the Navy Yard. Sylvester was into body piercings earlier than most Americans apparently.

Accession, 2010-96-1
Plaque, Ship, USS Alameda County, AVB-1
24" Diameter x 0.5 "H.
Wood, Paint.

Plaque, Ship, USS Alameda County.
The USS Alameda County was redesignated an Advance Aviation Base Ship in 1957. Prior to that the Alameda was originally designated a Tank Landing Ship LST-32. The Alameda was decommissioned in 1962.

Collection of Curator Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command.

Monday, November 04, 2013

PR: Southern Maryland Comic-Con is THIS SATURDAY!

Card Gaming at Southern Maryland Comic-Con!

High Tide Games will be hosting Magic The Gathering & Fluxx Tournaments through out the day at Southern Maryland Comic-Con! Check out the event page for more details right here!

Important Info

Southern Maryland


10 am - 6 pm

Capital Clubhouse
3033 Waldorf Market Pl
Waldorf, Md 20603

Admission is $10 at the
door or online

Kids 10 & Under FREE

Our Friends' Upcoming Events:

"I Know That Voice" with John DiMaggio
Friday, November 8
Washington, DC

Shoff Comics & Sports Card Show!
Saturday, December 7th
Tysons Corner VA

Dead Body Road #1 Release Signing with Justin Jordan
Saturday, December 14th
Annapolis, Maryland

Awesome Con 2014
April 18-20, 2014
Washington, DC

Southern Maryland Comic-Con is THIS SATURDAY

Guest Update
Unfortunately, Olivia Olson had to cancel her appearance at the Southern Maryland Comic-Con. So, we called up our friend, voice acting legend Jim Cummings, and he agreed to come to Waldorf on short notice! Jim has appeared in almost 400 roles, and is often associated with Disney. He is best known for voicing Darkwing Duck, Tigger, Pooh, the Tasmanian Devil, Urdnot Wreav from Mass Effect, and Dr. Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog.

He has performed in numerous animated Disney and DreamWorks movies including Aladdin, The Lion King, Antz, The Road to El Dorado, Shrek, and The Princess and the Frog. He has also provided voice-over work for video games, such as Kingdom Hearts, Icewind Dale, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Baldur’s Gate, Mass Effect 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, and Splatterhouse. Jim is one of the most talented voice actors in the world.
10am - Doors Open
11am - Fluxx & Magic: The Gathering Tournaments (run all day)
12pm - TBA
1pm - Q&A with Jim Zub, writer of Samurai Jack and Skullkickers
2pm - Q&A with Jim Cummings, legendary voice actor
3pm - Carolyn & Joe Show Podcast
3pm - Kids Costume Contest
4pm - Insane Ian Concert
4:30 - Costume Contest

Remember, kids 10 and under get in FREE! We will also have all-day kids art stations, kids superhero training obstacle course, a kids costume contest, and more!!

Tickets are on sale now at

Jim Zub!

Jim Zub is also coming to Southern Maryland Comic-Con! We are so psyched about our Samurai Jack exclusive, we were (somehow) able to talk the writer of the Samurai Jack comic book, Jim Zub, into coming to the con! This is huge! You may also know Jim from his Image Comic, Skullkickers. We will also have Samurai Jack cover artist Bryan Turner from Identity Comics Studio at the con, they will both sign your bo

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Peter Beagle's appearance at AFI

From guest blogger Bruce Guthrie

Peter Beagle's appearance at AFI/Silver last night went well.  He did Q&A and signing after a screening of "The Last Unicorn".

The audience, which had been raised on the book and/or cartoon, saw beyond those and loved every minute of the movie.

Unusual for a film screening, almost everyone at the sold-out 7:15 screening stuck around for the Q&A.  (This was in Theatre II which holds about 250 people.)  The audience was mostly adult although an earlier 4 pm screening had been added and that was apparently more kid-centric.  A lot of questions were about the story or the subsequent pieces in the same universe, but there were also a large number dealing with the other things he had written.  He was enjoyable to listen to and his publishing partner, Connor Cochran, filled in details and interesting subtexts.

The line of fans when I left during the signing around 10 looked like it would go on for at least an hour.  I found both Peter and Connor to be very personable and approachable and enjoyed myself considerably despite my lack of familiarity. 

Bruce Guthrie
Photo obsessive

Friday, May 03, 2013

1976 Dental Health campaign

In 1976, the American Dental Association sponsored a National Children's Dental Health Week. This advertisement shows a cartoon done by animation shop Rick Reinert Productions and is from U.S. Navy Medicine (February 1976).